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  • 3/16/2011

Causes and Remedies for Stinky Feet

smelling feet

The primary cause of stinking feet is sweat. There are more than 250,000 sweat glands in each of our feet. On a hot day, a foot can release more than a pint of sweat! Sweat is little more than salty water and doesn’t have a characteristic smell of its own.

So, what causes the bad odor?

There are bacteria to be found on our skin. They don’t smell of their own but sweat stimulates them and they grow and produce their familiar bad smell!

But how come is it that our face doesn’t stink? I guess it does have bacteria!

Certainly, it does have bacteria but different things occur when your face sweats. The face is normally not covered, so as soon as the face sweats, vaporization takes place and bacteria on the skin don’t get any stimulants. On the other hand, our feet are normally covered with socks and the shoes which don’t allow vaporization; the bacteria feed on the accumulated sweat to produce a bad smell.

I’ve got a friend but his feet don’t smell as bad as mine! What is the cause?

Psychological factors come into play. Some people sweat more than the others; thus, the bacteria have more food to feed on and thus produce a worse smell. If put simply; it is possible that your feet sweat more than your friend’s.

There are other reasons too and one of them is micrococcus sedentarius. Some people have these bacteria on their feet. Micrococcus sedentarius produces a volatile organic substance which produces a really bad smell. These bacteria are found in 10-15% of the people.

Feet Odor Remedies

Keep your feet clean. Washing your feet on a regular basis will help to reduce the bacteria count during the day. It may be necessary to wash your feet more than once a day. Make sure to use soap and water when you wash them. Using antibacterial soap is an even better way to get rid of and kill the bacteria causing your foot odor. Make sure to dry your feet really well before putting on a fresh pair of socks. I wouldn't use the same socks you had on before because it will just reintroduce moisture and bacteria to your feet.

Keep your feet dry. Bacteria need six things to survive and flourish: food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen, and moisture. Of the variables you have control of moisture is probably the easiest to control. Try taking your shoes off when you don’t need them. Or wear socks that wick moisture away from your skin, socks made of cotton work the best. If you don’t have time to take your shoes off or you don’t want to offend the other people around you, just change into a new pair.

Let your shoes dry out. At the end of the day when you finally get to take of your smelly shoes and free your stinky feet from their hot and wet prisons, make sure you let your shoes dry out. The tendency is to throw them in the closet so they don’t stink up the room, but they need to dry out. Find a spot for them to do that, and if they get really bad, wash them if possible.

Try using antiperspirant or deodorant. Antiperspirants work by inhibiting the release of sweat from your sweat ducts with aluminum salts. Basically, they decrease the amount of sweat that reaches your skin. Deodorants, on the other hand, do not decrease sweat but they help control odor as well as make your skin a more acidic environment, which is less desirable to bacteria. Prolonged use of antiperspirants can cause irritation or even contact dermatitis. Antiperspirants are the most common cause of skin irritation caused by cosmetic products.

Eating some foods will make your feet even smellier. Have you ever met a person who puts garlic in everything? If you have, you will also remember their extremely garlicky body odor. Garlic is not the only food that has this affect. There are a lot of foods that can make smelly feet even smellier. Here is a short list: garlic, onions, curries, chilies, and alcohol.

smelling feet

Your Stinky Feet

There are a lot of causes for stinky feet. And there are also a lot of different cures. Here is a synopsis of the best ways to keep your feet from getting smelly.

• Bathe your feet daily and dry them thoroughly before putting on your socks. Choose socks made from materials that absorb moisture like cotton and wool. There are also athletic socks specifically designed to wick moisture away while exercising. Shoes made of natural materials like leather can help prevent foot sweat by allowing your feet to breathe.

• If your feet feel wet, either take off your shoes or change your socks. And if that's not enough, change your shoes, too. Shoes may not completely dry out overnight, so try not to wear the same pair two days in a row. Reducing the amount of time your feet are covered will reduce the smell, so go barefoot as much as possible.

• If you need more help with the smell, try adding antiperspirants or deodorants to your feet. Remember that using antiperspirants too often will cause skin irritation.

• • If you have athlete’s foot, make sure to treat it regularly with fungicide because athlete’s foot makes foot odor worse.

• Excessive perspiration can be triggered by stress, so try relaxing once in a while. Put your feet up and take your shoes off.




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